Road Trip 2010 Planning!

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

This year, I will once again, be driving out the Wine Blogger’s Conference. This year, the event will be held in beautiful Walla Walla, Washington. Naturally, I need to find places to stop along the way. No road trip is complete without a bite of the local color. So the key is to start planning now. I have two potential routes to adventure. I can either take the incredibly convenient to hop onto Interstate 90 which will lead me through Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington; OR the equally incredibly convenient to hop onto Interstate 94 which will lead me through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington.

Choices, choices. The common denominator is the ease with which I will be able to hit the road as from Chez Neuman it is a five minute drive to either Interstate. Talk about your Gateway to the West!

Now is the time, for me to figure out as much as I can to make an informed drive. So if you know a cool, geeky spot, I should stop, a nice, but reasonable place to stay for the night, the local fare that should be tried or a great winery along the way? Email me at If I use your suggestion a beautiful Locapour t-shirt could be yours!

Sad News

We at VinoVerve were sad to learn of the passing of David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards in Dundee, OR. Mr. Lett died in his home on October 9th surrounded by family. He was 69.

Mr. Lett was a pioneer Oregon winemaker. He was the first to plant pinot noir in the Willamette Valley and the first in the U.S. to plant pinot gris. His 1975 Eyrie Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir won 10th place in the 1979 Wine Olympics in France. He later took a 2nd place award, with the first place going to Robert Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin, who was so impressed with Mr. Lett’s work bought land in Oregon and opened Domaine Drouhin Oregon.

The family welcomes condolences and remembrances of the man, known locally as Papa Pinot. They can be sent to:

Diana, Jim and Jason Lett
Post Office Box 697
Dundee, Oregon 97115

or donations can be made in his name to his favorite charities:

1000 Friends of Oregon (land use advocacy)
534 SW Third Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, Oregon 97204
(503) 497-1000

Families United For Independent Living (supports assisted living for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities)
PO Box 473
McMinnville, Oregon 97128 0473

A notation on Eyrie Vineyards website indicates that a memorial service has yet to be scheduled, however in keeping with Mr. Lett’s wishes it will be held AFTER harvest.